Bed & Breakfast & Borden Murder

One of my favorite pieces of writing is an essay by Sarah Vowell entitled “God Will Give You Blood to Drink in a Souvenir Shot Glass.” (The essay is collected in The Partly Cloudy Patriot but sadly does not seem to be available online on its own anywhere. The book is worth seeking out if you haven’t read it and you’re into nerdy historical tourism.) Anyway, the essay is about tourism in sites of historical tragedies, mainly Salem, Massachusetts, and how odd it is to reconcile having a fun, enjoyable tourist time in a site where horrible atrocities were committed. As a recent transplant to Massachusetts, I’ve also visited Salem and also had a great time enjoying the beautiful town where young women were put to death a long time ago.

The Lizzie Borden B&B has really leaned into that whole vibe. When you walk into the house, you start, of course, with the gift shop, which features Lizzie Borden bobble heads and baby onesies printed with “I love my Mommy TO DEATH” with a little axe. It’s very light-hearted for the site of a gruesome double-murder. But the murders were a long time ago, so now we can have fun.

pals!

We’re here to investigate a murder, but let’s have fun with it!

Lizzie Borden B&B

The house itself was, well…like a B&B. It’s furnished with period-appropriate furniture, but it’s also a working B&B, so everything that’s out is sat upon and slept upon by tourists every day. As we went through on our tour, getting more details about the day-to-day life of the Bordens and the murder itself, I just couldn’t get over the fact that people pay money to sleep in this B&B every day.

 

Skull Replicas

Just a curio cabinet with some replica murder skulls, like every B&B has

 

What's A Home Without a Father?

Ironic cross-stitch and significant replica key; apparently Andrew Borden knew that Lizzie had stolen some trolley tickets and money from him and responded by keeping his door locked but the key out in plain sight as some kind of test…

 

Naturally they leave a replica hatchet lying around for you to pose with

Naturally they leave a replica hatchet lying around for you to pose with

 

Naturally we posed with the hatchet

Naturally we posed with the hatchet

 

We have fun

Jokes!

 

The maid's bed

A photo of the maid Bridget, a stuffed cat, and a bed that B&B guests sleep in

 

Wouldn't it be fun to check in on the spirits of the 2 people who were horribly murdered here?

Wouldn’t it be fun to check in on the spirits of the 2 people who were horribly murdered here?

 

OH YIKES

OH YIKES

 

Anyway, it was a fun day trip, and we learned a moderate amount about history. It also did help contextualize the weird book about Lizzie Borden we read–how dysfunctional the family was, how oddly laid out their house was, and how many pears there were. (Listen to the podcast episode for more details.) If you’re ever in the area I’d recommend the Lizzie Borden house as an interesting day trip, if you’re into that kind of thing. If nothing else you can take some really ominous Facebook profile photos there.

 

What kind of a woman doesn't have a hatchet?

Goodbye!

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Podcast-strology

Unusually Specific For a Horoscope

On Worst Bestsellers’ epic crossover episode with Bellwether Friends, we joked about seeing how compatible our podcasts are. Never one to let a joke die, I looked up the dates of our first episodes and got a free star chart for their compatibility from Cafe Astrology. Here’s the deets:

Bellwether Friends was born on August 27, 2014, making them a Virgo.

Worst Bestsellers was born on September 23, 2014, making us a Virgo/Libra cusp.

Star Chart

What does this mean? Is this Illuminati?

Our compatibility report starts out strong:

187 Conjunction Mercury – Venus

Positive aspect: An agreeable relationship overall. They generally like to speak with each other, have a good intellectual understanding, their tastes can be very similar or complementary, and they typically like to share their feelings with one another.

This is totally accurate! We love sharing our feelings with Bellwether Friends.

I Just Have a Lot of Feelings

 

52 Trine Jupiter – Uranus

Positive aspect: This union can be favorable, if the two mutually respect each other. They both like their independence, their freedom of thought and action. The relationship may be marked by distinct philosophical interests and unusual ideas or belief systems, which ideally are encouraged in one another. There can be a nice meeting of minds on the bigger issues.

We do! We do mutually respect each other, and we definitely have unusual ideas and belief systems.

I Respect You Respecting Me

49 Trine Mars – Jupiter

Positive aspect: This is an excellent aspect. They boost each other’s confidence and fill each other with enthusiasm. They make plans together, and these are realistic enough to fulfill.

Could not be more true.

FRIENDSHIP

You can view the whole star chart here. It’s got a lot of astrology terms that I don’t technically understand!

Here’s hoping the stars continue to #bless our podcast friendship for many years to come!

If you understand astrology and can explain this chart, please tweet at us or leave a comment on this post! If you think astrology is fake and stupid, please do not tweet at us or leave a comment on this post!

 

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¿Qué es Twitter?

This morning Twitter wished me a happy 8th anniversary! I’ve been microblogging for 8 years. I remembered that the main reason I got a Twitter account in the first place was that I was writing for the Gringo Grita, the magazine of Peace Corps Dominican Republic, and we tried to write stories explaining what was going on in the greater culture to volunteers, who mostly only had occasional internet/television/People magazine access. This was–if you’ll recall–a time when it was still newsworthy for celebrities to open Twitter accounts and tweet for themselves instead of just having a publicist do it, so we kept hearing about Twitter.

I decided to try to explain the hot and confusing trend of Twitter, so I signed up for an account. Unfortunately, my few days with a Twitter experiment didn’t really qualify me.

I found the piece I wrote (thanks, Google Drive) and it’s kind of hilarious now, 63,000 tweets later. I’m sharing it here, because why not? It’s funny to think about how strange and foreign Twitter was to me then, given how many hundreds of times a day I check Twitter now.

Anyway, without further ado (or any edits/translations from 2017 Renata), let’s go back to a simpler time: July 2009, back before Twitter was full of Nazis (probably?), before our current president was using it to pen declarations of war, even before Lance Armstrong’s fall from grace (but, as you’ll see, after his massage).

 

What’s the Deal with Twitter?

 

I know you’ve heard it mentioned  in all the finest news sources—CNN, NPR, People magazine—but what exactly IS Twitter? To quote from Twitter’s website, it is: “a service for friends, family, and co-workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?”

 

Basically, it’s only the “status updates” part of Facebook (Twitter calls them “tweets”), and you can update it from your phone or from your computer. The catch: your updates have a max size of 140 characters. It sounds exceptionally stupid, and yet it’s super popular.  In the name of investigative journalism, I emailed some college friends who are living in the States and using Twitter to find out more.

 

My friend Jenny says, “It is stupid. But my dad uses it so he can follow Lance Armstrong and that is kind of cool. But overall, deceptively simple and part of the cult of celebrity and likely a flash in the pan idiocy, like POGs.”

 

My friend Mary was slightly more enthusiastic, noting, “Twitter is kind of stupid, but kind of addictive.  […] It’s like a time-delayed chatroom. And it’s a fun way to follow celebrities. I have Nathan Fillion, Neil Gaiman, Felicia Day, and Kevin Smith on my Twitter feed, among others, and it kind of brightens my day every time Kevin Smith says anything.”

 

I think in judging Twitter it’s important to remember that the main users of Twitter do not have to climb a loma to send a text message, nor do they have to pay 20 pesos an hour for Internet. Twitter seems to be the Internet equivalent of sitting on your doña’s porch and getting the scoop on who ‘s getting married and who bought a new moto, while also receiving texts from friends in the capital who have a new People magazine.

 

DoñaFulana54: Quien tienes hambre? Yo tengo moro aqui.

VoluntarioSureño:  @DonaFulana54 Yo tengo un chin de hambre… vengo ahorita.

VoluntariaChula: I’m going to La Sirena today, does anyone want me to grab anything?

Voluntario69: @VoluntariaChula  Will you get me peanut butter?

VoluntariaCapitaleña: OMG I JUST READ THAT BRITNEY SPEARS IS PREGNANT AGAIN

VoluntarioSureño: @ VoluntariaCapitaleña NO WAY

VoluntariaCapitalena: OH JK, CNN.COM SAYS IT WAS A FALSE RUMOR

DoñaFulana54: Mi sobrina tiene una gripe muy mal.

Voluntario Sureño: Has anyone heard anything else about swine flu?

PCDRMO: @ VoluntarioSureño It’s the H1N1 virus, not swine flu.

 

In other words, it’s absolutely something I could see myself using (with a little bit of self-loathing) when I go back to Nueva York.

 

If you’re interested in learning more, here are some notable people to follow (“follow” is Twitterese for “friend”) and a recent  “tweet” from them:

 

Ashton Kutcher: http://twitter.com/aplusk

“I just did a google news search for “injured in fireworks accident”…. WTF…. people make me laugh”

 

Rainn Wilson (Dwight from The Office): http://twitter.com/rainnwilson

“I am on a plane with WIFI and with the TV show I am on playing on all the little TVs so of course I’m going to Tweet about it. Weird.”

 

Shaquille O’Neal: http://twitter.com/THE_REAL_SHAQ

“Just because your certified , doesn’t mean your qualified”

 

Stephen Colbert: http://twitter.com/stephencolbert

“Remember kids! In order to maintain an untenable position, you have to be actively ignorant.”

 

Arnold Schwarzenegger: http://twitter.com/schwarzenegger

“Fresno protests have good lines. Esp. the guy asking me 2 sign Terminator 2 & budget. But saying he loved me in Red Sonja – below the belt.”

 

Lance Armstrong: http://twitter.com/lancearmstrong

“On the massage table. Listening to Iron and Wine.”

 

Kevin Smith (Silent Bob) http://twitter.com/ThatKevinSmith

“Took Harley to ICE AGE in Union Square, then hit Forbidden Planet for Ugly Dolls. Geek-Dad in full effect. The wife owes me some soft-n-wet.”

 

Sockington (A Cat who has over 800,000 Twitter  followers): http://twitter.com/sockington

AND THEN THERE WAS THAT TIME I THOUGHT THE PILLOW WAS A SQUIRREL there I was going along this very couch and HOLY LITTERBOX A SQUIRREL”

 

CNN Breaking News: http://twitter.com/cnnbrk

“Jackson golden casket placed on stage.  http://bit.ly/u08pJ”

 

NPR News: http://twitter.com/NPRNEWS

“Blagojevich Aide Pleads Guilty http://tinyurl.com/m9csxq”

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#WeNeedDiverse Saddle Club Book Covers

In our Saddle Club podcast episode, we talked about the various editions’ different book covers and Carole’s ambiguous racial identity. Since a podcast is not a visual medium, I wanted to collect a few covers here so you can see what we’re talking about.

As best I can tell, this is the original 1988 cover. Carole’s weirdly cast in shadow.

Horse Shy

 

This next edition looks like the same girl as the first one but flipped out of the shadow into the light? And also she got some chickens? Also, that horse is not cobalt.

 

Horse Shy

 

This next cover features all 3 girls. Which is which? Who knows? (Presumably, knowing what we know about Carole from the series as a whole, she’s on the right. All we know about Stevie is that she’s blonde and I wouldn’t call any of these girls blonde. Maybe the one on the left has some blonde-ish highlights?)

 

Horse Shy

 

Here’s the cover of the 1996 reprint edition. She looks more recognizably like a light-skinned black girl. (And Cobalt, the horse, is also black, as described in the book.)

 

Horse Shy

 

But wait, here’s a cover for an Overdrive e-book collecting the first 2 Saddle Club books.

Horse Crazy Horse Shy

 

Finally, here’s Carole from the Saddle Club TV show, as played by Keenan Macwilliam.

Keenan Macwilliam as Carole Hanson

I want to make clear that this is not like a pre-movie Hunger Games Rue situation, where Rue is clearly described as black in the book’s text but a lot of white readers didn’t pick up on it. (And, in many cases, then got mad about it.) None of the Saddle Club girls are physically described at all in the book we read, except for an offhand mention of Stevie’s blonde hair. For all we know, all three girls could be black (and maybe one of them dyes her hair). However, most readers, especially white readers, assume characters are white unless stated otherwise.

With all of these book covers, I think if you look at them pre-armed with the knowledge (gained from other books in the series, or perhaps from familiarity with the Saddle Club TV show) that Carole is black, you could recognize Carole as a WOC, albeit one on the lighter end of the spectrum of color. But with most of them, especially as a white person with existing biases, one could also easily view Carole as white. (Of course, Carole could  well be black and white–lots of people are mixed race, and people of color come in all shades.) But the combination of very light-skinned cover models and a lack of physical description in this particular book make it pretty easy for a reader (especially a white reader) to just assume Carole is white. For what it’s worth, the original series author, Bonnie Bryant, also appears to be white.

Did these covers whitewash Carole (as is common in book covers)? Is she meant to be mixed race? Is she meant to have been depicted with darker skin? I literally don’t know, it was not mentioned in the text of the only Saddle Club book I have ever read. But whitewashing characters of color–both on book covers as well as movie/TV adaptations for books–continues to be a problem in 2017.

There’s a lot to unpack with Carole and these book covers, and I don’t have the time or expertise to dive deep, so here’s a quick link roundup:

If you have more thoughts, leave a comment or tweet @worstbestseller!

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When Reading is Hard

I self-identify as a reader and I have since a young age. I didn’t learn to read until first grade–I’m a first-born child and it never occurred to my parents to teach me at home. That’s what school is for, right? So while a lot of my Big Reader friends learned as toddlers or in pre-school or kindergarten, I didn’t learn to read until my first grade teacher started our Learning to Read unit. Once I learned, however, it seemed like I never stopped. In a cliche I’m sure many of you are familiar with, I sat through many a family gathering, sporting event, and school recess with my nose in a book. My parents, for a time, had a rule that I had to use my allowance to buy toys, etc, but they would buy me as many books as I wanted. This rule didn’t last long, purely because I burned through books so quickly even the library could barely keep up.

So, I read all through elementary school and middle school and high school. In college, I did my best to read on top of school work and mostly succeeded. After college, I worked in a bookstore and read all day in addition to reading at home. My mother was accidentally an early Kindle adopter, and I quickly stole it and filled it with more books than I could otherwise carry in my purse. In the first few years I lived in Boston, I found myself reading slightly less. I recognized that it was because reading was no longer a large component of my job, and before I could worry too much about it, I started really diving back into comics and discovered my library system’s e-lending program, nearly simultaneously. Now I could read on my phone, anywhere, any time, and even when I was too disinterested or depressed to read the book I was in the middle of, hundreds more were at my fingertips.

Last year, the way my depressed brain started to interact with reading changed. I’ve always been plagued by an inability to focus when depressed, but usually that just meant finding the right book to grab my attention. Now I could barely bring myself to focus on the written word at all. If I wasn’t reading fanfiction, I wasn’t reading, period. I pushed my way through a few written books, but it was audiobooks that largely saved me. With the Kindle/Audible partnership that provides the audio of Kindle books you already own at a discount, I was set once again. Sure, I couldn’t focus on words, but listening was somehow easier. I could load my phone up with audiobooks and drift in and out a little if my brain fogged over, but I generally didn’t lose the thread of the story and managed to get through the boring parts by half-tuning out the narration.

And that’s been fine. Mostly. Except that the last few months, even that has stopped.
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2016’s Top Ten Duarte Photos

Hi all! Our Bests & Worsts of 2016s episodes are delayed, due to a number of factors, but mainly I got pneumonia and was too sick to do anything for a long time. Thanks, 2016, for this lovely parting gift. To help fill the gap in Worst Bestsellers land, Kait said she was going to write a blog post about the top 10 best moments of 2016, and I said, good for you but that sounds too exhausting for me to do. (Pneumonia sucks, y’all!)

But I didn’t want to show up to the blog empty-handed, and I figured even in my extremely diminished capacity I could handle a photo roundup of my favorite subject. Here are my top 10 photos of my cat Duarte from 2016. I hope you like them, too. (If not: leave me alone, I’m sick.)

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Ten Good Things About 2016

I’ll fess up: the reason we don’t have the first half of our Best of 2016 booklists up is totally my fault. In the past two weeks, I broke my foot and Renata got pneumonia. On the last possible day we could have recorded part one, Renata had juuuuust about recovered enough to record. I, on the other hand, did Something Stupid with my broken foot and had to spend two hours not moving on the living room couch.

Sorry! But, never fear–I would never leave you without #content on a WBS Monday.

2016 has been a garbage fire of epic proportions. Editor Becca claims that, in her view, every year people say the next year will be the one where the bad things stop and it’s never true. That’s not really my experience. I had a spate of bad years in a row, but generally I go back and forth. 2016 even seemed like it might be a good year for me at the start of it! It’s hard to call it a good year with the way it ended, though, as I’m sure we all can agree :\

That doesn’t mean it was all bad, though. For one thing, we read a lot of good books that you’ll be hearing about in two weeks! But even beyond that, I had good experiences that I’ll remember for a long time. (Would I have given up every single one of these experiences for a different outcome in the election–well. Yes. But that’s another post.) So, for your reading pleasure, in an effort to shine a little light into the last days of 2016, here are my Top Ten Good Things About 2016, in roughly chronological order.

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What the Witch Told Me

The name “The Worst Blog” turned out to be pretty accurate because I have been absolutely terrible at posting here. There have been things I wanted to post about–my first solo backpacking trip, my move, seeing Hamilton–and I’ve mentally drafted posts about those things, and never gotten around to opening up WordPress and writing about them. Partly because of doing all those things, I’ve been lacking in mental energy.

Today, now, I’m tired, but also restless. Like so many of us, I’m feeling scared and disappointed and furious about the outcome of the US Election. Like slightly fewer of us, I took my troubled heart to Salem, Massachusetts, aka Witch City. (Listen: I don’t have time to talk about the heartbreaking irony of a town that killed 20 people for alleged witchcraft turning it into a tourist destination.) A few friends and I had been planning this trip since before the election, and we decided it would be a good way to distract ourselves for awhile. We decided we might get our tarot cards read. I’ve had my tarot read once before (it’s one of the only things I’ve actually posted about on this blog) and I enjoyed the experience. (Side note: it is weird to look back at my post about that experience now! So much of it was about big change, and I’ve had that for sure. I also wrote this: Haha I’m totally fine and not at all worried about the 9 of Spades. *builds blanket fort for the rest of 2016, just for fun and totally not out of irrational fear* I guess I basically had the right idea!)

Also, I never posted an update on this blog after my WTF Are You Doing Post, so ICYMI: I successfully moved to the Boston area and got a great job! But at the time of my last tarot card reading I was preparing to move but hadn’t told too many people yet. But the reading was really reflective of that mindset. Obviously, I was in a very different mindset when I got my reading this week.

Anyway, again, I’m not saying I necessarily believe anything mystical is happening with the cards, but it’s a fun, self-reflective exercise. Kind of like a combination of a BuzzFeed quiz and a non-licensed therapist.

Salem has no shortage of tarot card readers and any other manner of psychics, witches, and mystics. Like good millennials, we looked up Psychics and Astrologers on Yelp, but since pretty much every place had at least 4 stars and we didn’t really know how to judge the reviews, I decided we should just visit a few places and judge by ~vibe~. (And also cost: the places with the most famous readers charge upwards of $100 per sesh, and we were not about that life.) The first place we went to, I rejected because the reader who was in was a man, and I don’t want any men telling me my secrets. The second place I rejected because the person at the desk seemed extremely uninterested in us and also it smelled weird. The third place advertised that Katy Perry had done a love spell there, and also they did a fundraiser for the animal shelter and blessed all the animals with magic, so obviously we went there. (It was Crow Haven Corner, although we did not meet with Lorelei, but rather one of her less-experienced budget witches.)

She asked me if there was anything in particular I wanted to know about, and I said I was feeling generally panicked about the state of the world and wanted advice on how to proceed. First, she had me shuffle one deck and pick one card that would represent my ~theme~ for the year.

Tarot Card - Grace

I got Grace, which she told me was about accepting things I can’t control. WITCH, PLEASE

I mean it’s maybe good advice for my personal wellbeing but also, obviously, not quite what I wanted to hear; I wanted the card for setting the world on fire. But I suppose accepting the things I really can’t change with grace gives me more mental energy to devote to the things I can change. #SerenityNow

Anyway, after I picked one card out of that deck, she did a Celtic Cross reading with a different deck.

Tarot Card Spread

 

The first card I got was the Moon, which is apparently about reflection and confusion and mystery. A LITTLE TOO ON THE NOSE, CARDS.

I don’t totally remember the order everything else came in; I do remember the Queen of Wands represents motherhood. She asked if I wanted to become a mother, and I said NOPE, and she said I had better be careful about birth control then because I’m very fertile and there’s a spirit near me that wants to come into the world? (It’s probably Duarte though.) Also, maybe I’ll change my mind about motherhood when I’m in a good relationship. SURE. She also said the Queen of Wands means I make good decisions, which I obviously do, which is how I ended up a tarot card reading on a weekday afternoon.

When the Lovers came up, she asked if I’d met anyone recently, or started a new job. (No and yes.) She told me both that I either had recently or would soon meet someone who would be a good ~love connection~ for me, and also that I would have a good partnership at work. (The second one is definitely true!)

The 8 of Pentacles means a period of hard work; she described myself as planting seeds in the ground that would pay off later. I also got the 8 of Wands which is also about working and planning. I also had a lot of Wands which in general is about creativity and determination. Specifically she told me I should do more graphic design work? Which I never told her what my job is but I had just had multiple conversations with co-workers about doing more flyers and Tumblr graphics at the library…so that was weirdly on target.

What else…she said my last relationship ended because the man wasn’t mature enough for me, which I think is true, but also is probably true of like 90% of man-woman relationships, like you could just stand on the street corner and tell that to random women and you’d only be wrong if they don’t date men.

Also at the end of it, she asked me to please write a good review on TripAdvisor because she could tell I was a good writer, which made me laugh so much. But also: I will. I will do that.

Anyway, it was a fun, reflective experience that left me feeling somewhat invigorated about the days to come! The overall combined takeaway, for me, is a combination of accepting the things I can’t change with grace, and working hard to change the things I can. The second part is where I need to put in my work, of course–the tarot card reader didn’t really tell me anything specific on how I can un-fuck up the world, but, you know, that’s on me. Right now I’m reading widely, and listening, and signing up for local community justice lists to make sure I hear about protests and other opportunities to effect change. I’m setting up recurring donations to causes that are important to me. I’m making sure that I’m working to make my library a safe place for all of our community members.

Also I bought this spell candle because it’s worth a try, right?

spell candle

I hope you are all doing as okay as possible, and doing whatever kind of magical or Muggle self-care you need to do to carry on and keep doing the work!

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Get Your Shit Together August: Behavioral Health Treatment

And we’re back for week three of Get Your Shit Together August! Today’s post is maybe not applicable to everyone personally, but is certainly applicable to at least one person you know, even if you’re SUPER well-adjusted. (If you are: what’s that like? Please tell me.) Today we’re talking about anti-depressants and behavioral health therapy.

Now, straight off the bat, here’s a disclaimer: I’m not a therapist. I’m not a doctor. I work in this field, but I’m not licensed and I’m gonna be talking about things very generally here, but in no way is this advice from A Medical or Behavioral Healthcare Professional. Okay? Okay.

When I was in high school, I went from being at the top of my class in almost all of my classes to struggling very hard to keep up with work. To be honest, I had struggled a little in middle school, too, frequently doing homework on the bus or at lunch because I just couldn’t make myself focus when I was at home. High school was more work, though, and it became harder for me to fit in everything I needed to do before school and during lunch. I was tired all the time and spent my after school hours taking long naps instead of doing my homework. I felt heavy and overwhelmed and I couldn’t say why or how or when it started. Finally, in my junior year, it caught up to me–my academic and personal issues combined for a perfect storm of mental catastrophe. I had to take a math class–my worst subject–with a teacher who was terrible. And, let me tell you this, I was never one of those kids who hated and bad mouthed any teacher I didn’t agree with. I understood teaching was hard, and that even if I didn’t like a teacher personally, they were probably doing their difficult job pretty well. This teacher? This was a bad teacher. I had never before wished harm on another person, but when she broke her hip halfway through the year, I actually thought, “Dear god, please let her be out for the rest of the year.”

Anyway, the point is, I got a D in her class the second or third marking period of that year. I had never gotten below a B- on a report card up to that point and my parents were livid. I broke down when they confronted me, had hysterics, literally ran out of the house and called a friend with a car to come pick me up. My parents eventually came and got me, apologized for yelling, and started to gently ask how I was feeling and how long I had been feeling that way.

I am extraordinarily lucky. I have always had a good relationship with my incredibly understanding parents. There’s a history of mental illness in my family and they weren’t judgmental at all about getting me into therapy and eventually getting me on medication. I had some amazing teachers to balance out that one rude math teacher, including an English teacher who literally changed the curriculum to fit my needs. Everyone around me me was willing to cut me some slack. Except, of course, for me.

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Get Your Shit Together August: Bullet Journal

Welcome back to Get Your Shit Together August! I hope you found last week’s post helpful! This week’s is obviously up a little later in the day, and that’s because, in true shitshow fashion, I did not take my photos last night and didn’t realize until I went to post them that I needed to black out some of the work information. WHOOPS. Which is a good reminder that this series is about trying to get your shit together if you’re a shitshow, and your shit will never truly be as together as you wish. That’s just life, tragically.

Anyway, I’m sure that bullet journaling is old news to most of you. It’s been scientifically proven* that 99.9%** of our listenership are librarians, aspiring librarians, librarian spouses, librarian BFFs, ex-librarians, library ghosts, three libraries in a trenchcoat, cardigan salesmen, etc, and librarians are notoriously Ahead of the Organizational Times. My library bros have been talking about bullet journaling for months, maybe years. When Renata and some other Twitter bros started doing it, I googled it out of curiosity and was immediately overwhelmed by the website, unable to entirely grasp what the process was like or how it could be helpful to me. I put it out of my mind, and it stayed there until this spring/summer when Kelly Sue DeConnick and the Bitches Get Shit Done group started to pick up the habit.

Kelly Sue started to keep a bullet journal and started occasionally tweeting and tumbling about it. Again, I looked at it and felt totally overwhelmed and put it out of my mind. But it was Kelly Sue AND a lot of office supplies seemed to be involved AND all my friends were starting to dip their toe in the water AND I’m a sheep desperate to be liked, so I decided to try again. Having already perused the website and come away with little-to-no useful information, I turned to google. I managed to find a few blogs that went into detail about how and why bullet journaling can be helpful and began to suspect that it might be the sort of thing I needed to add some organization to my mess of a life.

So, What Actually Is a Bullet Journal?

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